In today’s day and age – graduating from college is an impressive feat in and of itself, but what if you were to graduate at the age of 14? That’s exactly what Carson Huey-You was able to achieve when he first entered Texas Christian University as a Freshman at the age of 11.
Carson is a true example of Black Excellence in our community and a child prodigy to boot. His mother said it’s not a huge shock that he would graduate early because at the age of just 3, he asked if he could start to learn calculus – something that would scare off most adults!
So his mother got him a book on calculus to see what he could do and to her surprise at just 3 years old he was solving the early problems in the book. That’s when she realized he was not just “smart” but was special.
You may be wondering what Carson chose to study in school – was it something “easy”? Nope! Carson jumped in with both feet and received a degree in physics at 14-years-old.
You could go as far as to say Carson is a black activist showing the community what is truly possible for African-American youth who dedicate themselves to a life of education and self-determination.
While it’s amazing that he was able to graduate at just 14 – he also got his start in education from a young age. At just 2 years old he was already reading chapter books, and at 5 years old he was learning on an eighth grade level. So, his mother took him to a private school that would allow him to continue his education from his level of understanding, not his age.
He would go on to graduate from high school at the age of 10 as a co-valedictorian.
Just pause to think about that for a second, not only was Carson smart enough to go to high school, but he was the one of the two smartest kids in the school. How’s that for excellence in education?
You might think that his mother would worry about having a child prodigy going to college, but the opposite was true. She says that she felt safe and comfortable leaving her child in a classroom with people sometimes two to three times his age.
She would wait outside the classroom for him to finish his classes each day – a true example of a mother going above and beyond to make sure that her child is taken care of and able to learn.
His mother, Claretta Kimp, said that she was more nervous about sending him to high school than she was was to college. That’s because it was the first time that she had to truly “leave him” so that he could continue his education.
Because, before Carson could walk he has his own private classroom. Claretta converted a spare bedroom that she had in her home to a classroom for Carson. But don’t go feeling bad for Carson about having to learn at such a young age – he was actually excited by the idea of learning before he could walk.
While Claretta wasn’t worried about Carson going to college, it wouldn’t be fair to say that Carson wasn’t a little nervous. Up until his college career he’d spent all his time in a small private school that allowed him to learn at his own level and get an education where he felt comfortable.
Now it was time to move into the big leagues. But Carson stuck with it and after he had his first day of class and spending some time getting used to the Campus – he was just as comfortable as he was in his previous school.
It’s easy to put Carson on a pedestal as a child prodigy – but when asked about his accomplishment Carson is quick to say otherwise. He says that he’s just a normal guy and doesn’t consider himself a genius, rather he sees himself as a normal 14-year-old just doing things at a collegiate level.
And that doesn’t mean that things were “easy” for Carson. He said that he’s had to deal with some tough classes – because up until college most things came easy to him. But he quickly realized that at a collegiate level things are harder. Not to say that he didn’t excel but when it came to certain classes like General Chemistry II, Carson said they were more difficult than he expected.
When we think of black excellence it’s amazing to look at Carson and see what he’s been able to accomplish with being the youngest person ever to graduate from Texas Christian University – but we also have to look at and acknowledge his mother for making this possible.
And she’s made her home a place where her children excel and Carson isn’t alone in his placement as a child prodigy. Starting next year his brother will also be attending Texas Christian University at just 11-years-old, pursuing a dual degree in astrophysics and engineering.
It’s been amazing to watch Carson grow since he first got major press in 2013 for entering Texas Christian University at the age of 11, and it’ll be amazing to see what he does next.